DOCTOR WHO:
"DIMENSIONS IN TIME" (1993)

With John Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy ("The Doctors")
Carol Anne Ford ("Susan"), Deborah Watling ("Victoria"). Nicholas Courtney ("The Brigadier"), Richard Franklin ("Captain Mike Yates"), Caroline John ("Liz Shaw"), Elisabeth Sladen ("Sarah Jane Smith"), Lalla Ward ("Romana II"). Louise Jameson ("Leela"), Sarah Sutton ("Nyssa"), Nicola Bryant ("Peri"), Bonnie Langford ("Mel"), Sophie Aldred ("Ace"), Kate O'Mara ("The Rani")
And John Leeson (Voice of K9)
And stars from EastEnders
Written by John Nathan-Turner and David Roden
Directed by Stuart McDonald

     In 1993, three years after Doctor Who left the air, several former cast members took part in the short film Dimensions in Time, a crossover event featuring Doctor Who alumni and EastEnders cast members. This film, shown in two parts over the Christmas holidays, was part of the BBC's Children in Need fundraiser. The film was shown in 3D (if you had your special 3D glasses) and at the end of Part One, the audience was allowed to choose which EastEnders character would come to the rescue of the Doctor. Jon Pertwee, as The Third Doctor, co-hosted the event live with TV personality Noel Edmonds. 

     The story centered around The Rani (villainess played by Kate O'Mara) attempting to trap all the Doctors in time. Nobody gets a whole lot to do, as every minute or two, The Doctor and/or his companion suddenly change into other characters. For instance, The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and his usual companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) are the first heroes to be seen in the show, but a few moments later, there is a rift in time courtesy of The Rani, and suddenly Ace finds herself with the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker). Other time jumps bring other combinations, such as The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Mel (Bonnie Langford) and so on until the end of the film, when, naturally, The Rani is sent packing and all is restored.

     The story, such as it is, is merely a framework to showcase as many Doctor Who and EastEnders characters as could be fit in a 17-minute piece of entertainment. Some Doctor Who alumni who were fairly young when they starred in the later years of the series, such as Sophie Aldred and Nicola Bryant ("Peri"), hadn't changed a bit since the show went off the air. It is a bit of a shock, however, when characters from the early years show up. Carol Ann Ford, who started in the very first episodes of the show, is instantly recognizable as an older Susan, while others, such as Deborah Watling ("Victoria" from the Patrick Troughton years) needed a name check by The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) before I knew who she was. Some of the cameos are extremely pointless, especially the appearance of Lalla Ward as Romana, who is on and off the screen in a matter of seconds.    

    This was Tom Baker's first return to the Doctor Who universe since his seven-year run on the show as The Fourth Doctor. He had nothing to do with any of the other cast members (typical Tom), his part being a call to arms to all his previous incarnations to stop The Rani. It would be another twenty years before he appeared in a real Doctor Who story, 2013's "Day of the Doctor".

     Dimensions in Time was not great entertainment, to be sure, but as a strange little offshoot of the series, it holds some interest, especially for fans of the original series. Think of it like this: "Dimensions in Time" is to the original series as "Her Majesty" is to The Beatles' Abbey Road album.

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- The Eleventh Doctor